Table of Contents
1.0 Resemblance to 8 Factors of Entrepreneurial Profile
According to the proposal of Cubico, Bortolani, Favretto and Sartori (2010), the capability of an individual for being an entrepreneur can be evaluated with the help of entrepreneurial aptitude test (TAI), containing eight different factors of entrepreneurial ability. Based on eight entrepreneurial factors mentioned by Cubico, et al. (2010), I am comparing my entrepreneurial profile with that of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. The assessment provides the following result.
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It can be observed from the result of the entrepreneurial aptitude test, provided in the above table that out of the eight factors, which describe the entrepreneurial capability of a person, I show high potentiality in leadership, need to achievement, need to self-empowerment and autonomy. Almost similar characteristics are reflected in the assessment of Steve Jobs. Hence, this can be inferred that I show the highest resemblance to Steve Jobs as an entrepreneur.
2.0 Entrepreneurial Profiles
2.1 Bill Gates
The entrepreneurial quality of Bill Gates has been identified after the development of Microsoft Corporation in 1975 (Entrepreneur, 2017). The foundation of the revolutionary organization has represented him as an innovative visionary, who sparked a revolution in the field of computer application (Entrepreneur, 2017).
The most significant fact about the entrepreneurial career of Bill Gates was that the first release of Windows in 1985 was not exactly a breakthrough that was predicted by the entrepreneur. Critics claimed this invention as a slow and cumbersome step of the businessman. In fact, Apple was also not satisfied with the software (Entrepreneur, 2017). It considered Windows to be a rip-off for the Macintosh operating system developed by it and sued Microsoft. The case was dragged till the middle of the 1990s, when the courts decided that the Apple suit had no merit over the allegation. In the meantime, Bill Gates was working for the development and improvement of Windows, thus launching a number of upgraded versions of the program (Entrepreneur, 2017). These versions used to run at a faster speed and freeze less frequently than the preceding versions.
A number of third party programmers started using Windows as a base for the development of their own software. The own applications of Windows became the hot sellers in the computer software industry, resulting to a sales volume of 1 million copies per month by 1993. Currently, almost 85 percent global computers are run on Windows operating system, thus representing the success of Bill Gates as an entrepreneur (Entrepreneur, 2017).
2.2 Mark Zuckerberg
It is due to the success of Facebook that Zuckerberg is considered to be the most successful entrepreneur and the youngest billionaire all over the world. In 2011, the entrepreneur had become the 52nd richest man in the world with a worth of $13.5 billion (Rebel Growth, 2017). The attention of the people was directed towards social media, only after the development of Facebook. Almost every individual all over the world has an account in Facebook along with one or more of the other social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and the like (Rebel Growth, 2017). However, none of the aforementioned social media websites has reached the height of fame as that of Facebook.
The history of development of Facebook trailed back to the days when Mark used to study at Harvard. There, he had developed CourseMatch, where the students could select their courses on the basis of the ones picked by their peer groups. This, in turn, made it easier for the students to develop several study groups (Rebel Growth, 2017). In 2004, the entrepreneur started working on a new website and came into contact with Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, who accompanied him in developed HarvardConnection.com. However, the partners registered and launched the website under the name of TheFacebook.com. As a result, the entrepreneur was accused of stealing the idea of Winklevoss brothers and Narendra. Eventually, the trial came to a settlement of 1.2 million worth of shares of Facebook, which actually reached to a worth of $300 million in 2012 (Rebel Growth, 2017). This proves the goal orientation and urge for self-empowerment of the entrepreneur.
2.3 Steve Jobs
The entrepreneurial quality of Steve Jobs has been identified after he founded Apple Inc. After the establishment and development of Apple Inc., a technological revolution was introduced in the electronics industry all over the world (Entrepreneur, 2016). The specialty of Apple computers was the implantation of pre-loaded useful software.
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The innovative skill and capabilities of Steve Jobs were reflected in his business thoughts and principles in his technological venture Apple Inc. Strong entrepreneur skills helped Steve Jobs to effectively plan for the future success of his company by taking high risk prone innovations with sheer confidence (Deakins and Freel, 2009). Steve Jobs developed Apple computers in order to fulfil his dream of designing a system that can be used by anyone and everyone at any time of the day and at any place all over the world. It is because of this reason that Apple computers are designed in such a way that these can be operated at home, at office, at restaurant or even while on the move. Apple Inc. has become the leader and pioneer in the personal computer industry under the leadership and guidance of Steve Jobs (Berglund and Johansson, 2007). Moreover, Jobs was so talented that he could renovate an existing electronic device into a new one, which was capable of attracting the attention of buyers of all ages.
The innovative skill of the entrepreneur along with his capability of foreseeing the upcoming industrial and business crises became prominent during the 1980s, when the popularity of Apple products started to fade from the electronics market (Liñán and Chen, 2009). Time had come for Steve Jobs to develop an entirely new product, which would have the capability of evoking the lost glory of Apple Inc. With this notion in mind, Jobs launched Apple Macintosh in 1984 as the first personal computer with a unique graphical user interface, which could be controlled with a ‘mouse’. The introduction of ‘mouse’ served as a real breakthrough in the technology industry, since it makes the usage of PCs easier than could be expected before (Kaputa, 2012; Haslam, 2017). The innovative thoughts and ideas largely helped Steve Jobs in emerging as a strategic entrepreneur, who always looks for opportunities to develop something new and creative within the available resources and capabilities (Wickham, 2006). His strategic outlook of viewing things helped him to emerge as a leader everyone tries to relate to. Jobs had a visionary outlook towards future, which helped him in incorporating risky decisions, each of which had relative charismatic features to draw the attention of both his employees and the customers (Wickham, 2006).
3.0 Classification of Persons as Entrepreneurs
An entrepreneur is referred to a person, who is known for creating a new business idea, developing a new business and undertaking all kinds of risks associated with the same (Excerpted from Module). In this context, all the three leaders, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs can be considered to be the examples of being successful entrepreneurs. This is because; all the persons considered here have set up their own businesses, namely, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple Inc., and developed their creations into leaders of the global business field. All the entrepreneurs have followed the econometric model of entrepreneurial start-up (deriving benefit from every minor and major market force) in some form or the other. The econometric model of entrepreneurial start-up used has been provided in the figure below.
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Bill Gates had identified the requirement of an upgraded operating system for the computers of the world. The people of the world actually needed an operating system for their computers that can be affordable and has the capability of operating computers of all types. More specifically, the Macintosh computers of Apple were unable to penetrate the domestic market easily due to their high cost and incompatibility with other operating systems. Bill Gates derived his benefit from this market force itself. On the other hand, Steve Jobs started his business when there was no existence of the term ‘personal computer’ in the world. However, people were gaining technical knowledge and getting interested in owning computers for their household benefits. Gates used this market force for starting up his entrepreneurial project. The way, in which Jobs used his creativity and innovative product development ideas for the designing of unique computers and the development of his start-up business into a market leader, depicts his success as an entrepreneur. Considering Mark Zuckerberg, it can be stated that his tactic of renaming HarvardConnection.com in to TheFacebook.com and claiming Facebook to be his creation followed by settlement with the partners proved his capability of utilizing business environmental forces for entrepreneurial benefits.
It is a general fact that the personality of every individual is unique in its own form. However, an entrepreneur has a number of inborn qualities, which pave the way towards the professional development of the person (Zahra, Sapienza and Davidsson, 2006). The most common traits observed within an entrepreneur are the one’s capability of thinking ‘out of the box’ in a creative manner (Excerpt from Module). The thought process of an entrepreneur is focused towards a specific goal and follows a logical sequence (Sharma and Chrisman, 2007; Burns, 2005; Bornstein, 2007; Burns, 2007). It is the common personality trait of an entrepreneur to seek opportunities for the creation of some unique concepts worth enough to be applied in the entrepreneurial business activities (Wennekers, Van Stel, Carree, and Thurik, 2010). The skills and abilities of corporate entrepreneurship have helped Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs to achieve immense success by effectively following the strategy of risk-seeking institution for their entrepreneurial ventures. The corporate entrepreneurship skills of these entrepreneurs are largely responsible for setting high leadership standards based on their competencies and capabilities in making one-man or two-man start-up firms into pioneers of the world business scenario (Stokes, Wilson and Mador, 2017).
Entrepreneurs are highly motivated towards thriving excellence through hard work and perseverance. The personality of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg also depict all the aforementioned qualities of an entrepreneur. Along with the entrepreneurial qualities of Jobs and Zuckerberg, Bill Gates is observed to exhibit strong leadership skills while inspiring the employees towards the attainment of the business objectives. The strong decision-making abilities of Jobs helped in stimulating Apple Inc. when it faced financial crunch during the 1980s. The strong innovative qualities of Bill Gates represent the ability of the entrepreneur in developing revolutionary ideas that can be used by third party businessmen for developing their own products. Mark Zuckerberg identified the benefit of developing a networking site that could bring people together. In order to develop their start-up ventures into corporate pioneers, the entrepreneurs developed new business strategies, following the 5Ps (Plan, Ploy, Position, Perspective and Pattern) strategy of Mintzberg (Excerpt from Module). As a result, Gates introduced the first commercial computer to the people of the world at an affordable price, and with compatibility to all types of computers, Zuckerberg developed the concept of linked people through technology while Jobs developed Apple smartphones with simple technology and innovative and compact software and positioned them as the agents of changing human life (Phillips, 2007; Borghans, Duckworth, Heckman, and Ter Weel, 2008; Mac History, 2011). These innovative products attracted the worldwide customers of all ages and fields.
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The theory of personality trait states that an individual has an external locus of control, with the help of which the one observes that various incidents in one’s life occur due to the effect of certain external factors such as fate, luck and the like (Zimmerer, Scarborough, and Wilson, 2005). However, an entrepreneur must not be dependent on such factors (Excerpt from Module). The people considered here also did not depend on external factors of influence. Bill Gates did not consider the lawsuit filed by Apple and continued his process of improving Microsoft. This, in turn, brought success to the operating system. Mark Zuckerberg did not consider the emotions of his partners while renaming HarvardConnection.com to TheFacebook.com and looked forward towards the chance of getting success by transforming a college-based website into a public website. Steve Jobs did not consider the risks of developing revolutionary computer products at a time when people did not have the idea of a ‘personal computer’. The motives of the entrepreneurs were to succeed and excel in their own fields, therefore achieving fame and success and popularity in life. As a result, they were able to undertake risk while providing importance to achievement through enthusiasm and zeal for the improvement of products and betterment of their ventures.
It is normal about an accomplished entrepreneur that the person tends to make full use of the changes in the business environment by incorporating innovative strategies for the identification of business opportunities (Excerpted from Module). It is the normal behavior of an entrepreneur to attempt to convert the market opportunities into success factors of the business (Phillips and Tracey, 2007; Nicholls, 2008). In case of Steve Jobs, it can be specified that he made effective use of the emerging new technology for the development of a new software and interface and implanted these into the electronic devices designed by Apple Inc. As a result, the organization could anticipate the changing needs and preferences of the customers. Bill Gates also succeeded in utilizing the changing demands of the computer users, who were getting interested in owning an affordable software, which is compatible to their personal computers. The steps taken by these entrepreneurs for full utilization of the increased dependence of young generation on technology had paved way for the development of the revolutionary products of Apple, new versions of Microsoft and social media such as Facebook.
Apart from assessing the market opportunities, it is the capability of an entrepreneur to improve the economic activities in the contemporary market such as economic growth, interest rates, inflation and exchange rates (Excerpted from Module). This is done by way of innovation and creativity for the development of new products or services. Once a particular product or service gains recognition within a market structure, it starts delivering knowledge and information to the entrepreneur, which in turn is implemented by the organization (Choy and Suk, 2005). This gradually accelerates economic activities of the company and the concerned industry. When Bill Gates launched the advanced versions of Microsoft, it improved the economic condition of the firm. Also when Mark Zuckerberg launched TheFacebook.com for the public users, it developed the designer into a successful entrepreneur, When Steve Jobs developed and launched Apple phones for the first time, it enhanced economic and business activities of the entire technology industry.
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4.0 Entrepreneurs being Worthy of Recognition
There are number of entrepreneurs all over the world, portraying significant leadership qualities. All of them are worthy of recognition for one reason or the other.
4.1 Bill Gates
In 1975, when Bill Gates left college, he had already realized that the personal computer was experiencing the need of a new software that would help it in running smoothly (Patel, 2017). He projected the future of a ‘personal computer’ and developed the Microsoft operating system for every home in the United States. He had utter faith in himself and in his founding team. He also had confidence in his business idea, analytical skill and future business trend. Based on these three factors, Gates dropped out of college, invested million for the cost of insurmountable debts (Patel, 2017). This, in turn, provided high recognition to the entrepreneur. Moreover, his preference for integration, both horizontal and vertical, gifted him with the recognition as an entrepreneur. It is for this reason that Microsoft tends to prefer vertically integrated products (Patel, 2017). However, a critical component of the development of the firm was horizontal integration with different other software platforms through acquisition. It is for this integration that the company could acquire SOFTIMAGE and Altamira in 1994 and 1995 respectively, thus providing the leader with a recognition as a successful entrepreneur (Patel, 2017). In addition to it, the person is recognized as an entrepreneur due to his stubbornness towards pursuing his passion for computers.
4.2 Mark Zuckerberg
Like Bill Gates, Zuckerberg moved steadily towards his passion (Bloomgarden, 2017). It is for this reason that the applications of Facebook now has spanned across a wide variety of industries, starting from helping doctors in providing opinions on patients’ medicine to changing the way of interaction between individuals of different fields (Bloomgarden, 2017). Zuckerberg is known for celebrating his battles. He has represented himself as the bearer of the greatest successes in innovation and creativity coming from having the freedom to fail. In the process of working under a project, whether that ultimately led towards success or failure, Zuckerberg tended to learn the lessons, which in turn gave rise to new thinking (Bloomgarden, 2017). In a way, he prefers to share stories of both success and failure, thus paving way towards sharing of ideas and using the same for his own development and recognition as an entrepreneur.
4.3 Steve Jobs
There exists several factors that can help people in recognizing Steve Jobs as a trendsetter for the young entrepreneurs. The unique personality traits of Steve Jobs have motivated a number of young entrepreneurs of the next generation. Steve Jobs had a very strong power of viewing and imagining the upcoming trends of an industry. It was with the help of this analytical power he could visualize the need of new technology in the market. Based on this power, Jobs could bring recognition and success to his company and its products in the global market. In addition to it, the entrepreneur had determination and courage of taking risk and making decisions that could ultimately prove to be beneficial for Apple and its stakeholders. A number of business decisions was made by Jobs that was not in line with the market trends of the contemporary era. These could have risked the existence of Apple Inc. However, it was with the help of his motivating activities and control on action that his partners, employees and other stakeholders moved forward towards the edges of innovation and simultaneously saved the risky situations (Himmel, 2013). It has been learnt from Steve Jobs that selling innovative products from an unattractive ambience never fetches as much profitability and recognition to the firm as is fetched by an attractive sales ambience (Kuang, 2011). Somewhat, an entrepreneur needs to showcase the one’s products in such a way that the customers can actually feel the essence of innovation, introduced through the new product.
Based on the learnings of the current entrepreneurship module, I can comment that it has been a very enriching module and assignment for me. Through this module, I could develop a better understanding about entrepreneurship with high emphasis on the qualities of an entrepreneur and the one’s relation with innovative business ideas. Also my knowledge about different factors, affecting the activities of an entrepreneur, have been enriched. Moreover, I could develop my knowledge about various models and theories of entrepreneurship. The module has aided me in understanding the importance of creativity and vision in an entrepreneurial business.
Considering the eight factor entrepreneurial profile, I can mention that an entrepreneur must be goal-oriented with unique capability of leading others. Furthermore, the person should be able adapt to the changing market trends and develop the business accordingly. In addition to it, an entrepreneur is a person, who has the urge of achievement and is a self-empowered person, thus setting example for the followers. Apart from these, an entrepreneur has the ability to innovate and renovate products according to market requirements. This implies that the most important characteristic of an entrepreneur is to be flexible and adaptable to situation. However, the person must be a confident one and able to keep hold of the autonomy of the entrepreneurial firm in the associated industry.
As per the assessment of my own entrepreneurial profile, I found the highest resemblance with Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc. compared to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. I show high leadership skills like all the three entrepreneurs. I also have huge need of self-empowerment like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. On the other hand, I show extreme autonomy along with moderate flexibility, which is almost similar with those of Steve Jobs only. However, I did not match the profile of the stalwart in goal orientation, adaptability, need of achievement and innovation. Therefore, I can reflect that from the current learning module and the assignment. I am now capable of identifying my own entrepreneurial skills along with the areas, on which I necessitate to develop skills for being a successful entrepreneur in the future.
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